Wednesday, August 07, 2013

San Antonio City Council Considering Adding Gender Identity To Non-Discrimination Ordinance

San Antonio is the second largest city in Texas and is considering adding gender identity and sexual orientation to their anti-discrimination ordinance. 

If this human rights ordinance change is passed by the San Antonio City Council, it would amend the city codes to protect people from discrimination in housing, public accommodations and employment based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and veteran’s status. It would also make San Antonio the largest city in the state of Texas to do so. 

It was headed to a final vote in June but was delayed until either this month or September as I suspect by the opponents on the San Antonio City Council to give the Forces of Intolerance time to organize opposition in order to protect their special right to discriminate.

PhotoThey have been busy flooding the San Antonio City Council and Mayor Julian Castro (D) with negative calls at a 60-1 ratio and those of you who are on the side of fighting for TBLG human rights need to be heard ASAP and countering the faith based lies.. 

It takes six votes on San Antonio City Council to pass ordinances.  As of this moment the supporters for the changes are Mayor Julián Castro, District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal, District 4 Councilman Rey Saldaña, District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, and District 6 Councilman Ray Lopez.

Opposed to the ordinance changes are District 9 Councilwoman Elisa Chan and District 10 Councilman Carlton Soules.

So if you're keeping human rights score at home, that's five YES votes and two NO votes

There are four council members whose votes are either undeclared at this time.or who are still evaluating the changes.  Those councilmembers are District 2 Councilwoman Ivy Taylor, District 3 Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran, District 7 Councilman Cris Medina, and District 8 Councilman Ron Nirenberg

All we need is one of the four to vote YES for passage while the haters need all of them to vote NO to defeat it.  So let's get busy RESPECTFULLY trying to convince them to vote our way.

Trans discrimination exists in Texas and has deleterious effects on us.  With many of us living in Texas urban areas like San Antonio, it's past time for the cities to do what we know our GOP dominated state legislature won't in terms of protecting the human rights of their TBLG citizens.

San Antonio clergy have come out in favor of the change to the non-discrimination ordinance and are circulating this letter in support.

As faith leaders from a wide range of denominations, faith traditions and communities from across San Antonio, we dedicate our lives to fostering faith and compassion and work daily to promote justice and fairness for all God’s children. It is out of this common call to fairness and justice that we strongly encourage the San Antonio City Council to amend the city codes to protect people from discrimination in housing, public accommodations and employment based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and veteran’s status.
The sacred writings and traditions that we follow carry the messages of love, justice and inclusion. Our faiths teach us that we should treat others as we wish to be treated. These common-sense additions to the city code promote the common good and express our fundamental commitment to basic fairness. All hardworking people in San Antonio should have the chance to earn a living and provide for their families without fear of being fired for reasons that have nothing to do with their job performance. Everyone should have equal access to housing and public accommodations.

The time for San Antonio to extend its commitment to fairness and compassion is NOW: As religious leaders in San Antonio, we call on the City of San Antonio to do more to protect all its residents and visitors from arbitrary discrimination by ensuring that all have equal access to employment, housing, and public accommodations. By updating the city codes, the City Council will strengthen our community by fostering an atmosphere of respect and inclusivity and will send the message that San Antonio is a welcoming place to live, work, and raise a family.

In addition it's time for our trans brothers and sisters residing in San Antonio to become agents of your own liberation.  You have a golden opportunity to get an ordinance passed that protects your human rights and all you need to do is e-mail or pick up the phone and call your city councilmember and Mayor Castro.

Of course visiting their offices won't hurt either in addition to planning on being in council chambers when the vote happens.  But first things first, here's a list of the folks you need to chat with who either oppose or are non committal about this sensible change.  

Here's hoping I will have positive news to report to the rest of the state, nation and world in terms of whether or not the Alamo City values its TBLG citizens. 

TransGriot Update: There's an additional website, Support Equal Rights In San Antonio you can click on to stay abreast of what's happening in the Alamo City concerning the non discrimination ordinance. You can also follow the Twitter hashtag #ndo4sa for info as well

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